Auto insurance 101
Getting the most out of
your automobile coverage
By David Wight
TV BROADCASTS AND the mailbox are
stuffed with messages about saving money on
auto insurance, but be careful to look before
you leap. Talking with family and friends about
their experiences might help, and doing some
homework can help you differentiate between
low-cost come-ons versus adequate coverage.
Take the time to level the playing field.
You can use the Internet to find out about
auto insurance requirements in your state.
Then get to know the language of auto insurance, starting with some common definitions
and these helpful tips from Ameriprise Auto
& Home Insurance.
Otherwise your assets could be compromised and
you could experience higher out-of-pocket costs.
Uninsured and underinsured motorist
coverage pays for medical treatment and
sometimes your property damage in the
event that you are injured in a collision and
the other driver is not insured or insufficiently insured.
Auto insurance basics:
glossary and tips
For many, truly understanding their auto
insurance can be discouraging. When reviewing a policy, it is important to know who and
what is protected under each coverage within
Bodily injury liability covers damages
for injuries caused to someone else when you
are legally responsible for a car accident.
Property damage liability pays for damage caused to someone else’s property when
you are legally responsible for a car accident.
❖ Tip: Uninsured and/or underinsured motorist
coverage cannot exceed liability coverage limits,
so be sure to choose adequate coverage. These
coverages are valuable for covering needed costs
if you are injured in a major accident and the
other driver is not properly insured.
Ways to save money on your
You can control more aspects of insurance cost than you might realize. Consider
these ways to keep the cost down.
• Maintain a clean driving record.
Speeding tickets and other moving violations
that result in points on your driving record
will trigger higher insurance premiums.
• Ask about discounts. Here’s a checklist
of discounts you should investigate.
✔ Having a good driving record
✔ Being a safe driver
✔ Owning a vehicle with safety
features, including airbags,
car alarm, anti-theft devices
and anti-lock brakes.
✔ Passing a defensive driving course
✔ Insuring multiple vehicles or auto
and home with the same carrier
✔ Being a good student
✔ Being a Costco member
(only with Ameriprise Auto &
• Drive a modest vehicle equipped with
money-saving safety features. An exotic
sports car comes with much higher insurance
premiums than a four-door sedan. Be sure to
research the cost of insurance on potential
new cars prior to purchasing.
• Maintain a good credit rating. The better your credit rating, the more likely it will
reduce your premium.
• Drive fewer miles. If you drive less, you
will pay a smaller premium. C
Medical coverage pays for your medical
expenses from being injured in an accident.
Comprehensive coverage pays for damage to your vehicle in cases such as theft, vandalism, fire, windshield replacement, hail or
hitting an animal.
Collision coverage pays for losses to your
vehicle resulting from your vehicle colliding
with another vehicle or object.
❖ Tip: If you have only minimum liability coverage
and injure someone, an attorney can go after your
assets or cause you to have higher out-of-pocket
payments. Be sure you have enough liability coverage to protect your assets if someone is injured or if
valuable items and multiple vehicles are destroyed.
❖ Tip: The deductible part of your auto insurance
policy is applicable to comprehensive and collision coverage. It is an amount you determine to
pay out-of-pocket before the insurance company
pays toward a loss. The higher the deductible
amount, the lower the cost of coverage. Make
sure you choose a deductible amount that you
can comfortably afford in the event of a crisis.
Insurance is underwritten by IDS Property Casualty Insurance Company and Ameriprise Insurance Company, both in De
Pere, Wisconsin. Each company is a subsidiary of Ameriprise Financial, Inc. Discounts and savings vary by state and apply to certain coverages. Ameriprise Auto & Home Insurance’s California license number is 0C41813. Costco Insurance
Agency, Inc.’s California license number is 0D08407. Insurance may vary by region or state. See the Ameriprise Auto &
Home Insurance ad on the back cover of this issue for more details.
COSTCO MEMBERS are eligible for significant savings combined with good
service and benefits from Ameriprise
Auto & Home Insurance, including:
• Exclusive Costco discount
• Free 24-hour roadside assistance
and lifetime renewability for
• Responsive claims service 24/7
• Get an auto insurance quote in
May, and Ameriprise Auto &
Home Insurance will donate $5 to
participating Children’s Hospitals.
To learn more, call toll-free
1-888-404-5365, or go to Costco.com
and enter “auto insurance” in the
MAY 2010 ;e Costco Connection 73